Session Description

Trying to connect with distance or online students? Learn about the benefits of implementing virtual research consultations for these student populations and discover several low-cost web conferencing software options.

Type of Library

University Library


distance learning, online learning, virtual consultations, tools, software


May 12th, 11:15 AM

Reaching Distance and Online Learners through Virtual Consultations

Fireplace Lounge

When students have complex research questions, we suggest that they come to the reference desk or schedule an in-person appointment with a librarian. But what about students who do not have the option of visiting the physical library? How do we provide the same level of in-depth research assistance to our distance and online learners? One option is to offer web conference consultations for distance and online students, which better approximate the face-to-face research appointment experience than phone or email transactions.

This poster will describe how the library liaison for a predominantly online graduate program took advantage of the library’s online appointment booking system to offer a new service option for these students, one adapted to the unique needs of this student population. The poster will present the benefits, for both students and librarians, of shifting the service model by offering web conference consultations, as well as considerations to keep in mind when implementing this new service. The poster will also outline several low-cost web conference software options, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.


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